CRAZY CARS II

Publisher : Titus
Release date : 1990
Genre : Racing
Players : 1
Screenshots...
Game description...
"You have been assigned a delicate mission : expose a group of cops running a stolen car racket. At the wheel of the extraordinary FERRARI F40, you will take off across four states in hot pursuit. WARNING : This 3D hyper realistic race could be fatal."
Programming :
  
Graphics :
  
Music/Sounds :
  
Downloads...


Download ROM


Download Manual
Editors review...
Here we have one of the consoles 4 racing games, if you count Fire & Forget II and the never played SCI. Discounting those latter 2 games basically pits Crazy Cars II against the consoles launch game Burnin' Rubber - and there's no comparison. Burnin' Rubber, whilst it had it's faults, compared this is the sleek Ferrari F40 to Crazy Car's knackered old Vauxhall Astra of a game!

Thank you again Titus for re-releasing an existing tape/disk game on cartridge with little improvement if any, this being the 3rd out of the 4 games to be pretty much a straight transfer apart from Dick Tracy which was redesigned and coded from scratch. On it's original release on tape/disk this may have been passable at full price or a good release on budget - it could have crept into the 80% final rating area possibly. But for 24.99 it would have initially retailed at? Poor show. So what's different? We have a new title screen and music which the image looks a bit better but they've decided to ditch the funky digitized music on the original in favour of the usual average Titus music which always seems to be written by the same musician and coder! Boo. Bad start, although to be honest digitized music generally sounds pretty crap with the heavily compressed audio. Anyway anything else? Well we have nice scrolling map in game (more on that shortly) and a gradiented sky line which looks nice utilise the extra colours available - but that's it. I'm not 100%

So with the differences out of the way what's the actual game like? Not much. Some guff about smashing a racket of stolen cars run by corrupt police officers, really though its just an excuse to get away with empty roads (major American highways are never this quiet?!) with odd copper try to bump you off the road into a fiery death. As to 'smashing the ring' - well I don't see how just driving from one destination to another is doing anything, maybe we're missing all the fun that happens when you arrive at your destination?

So basically you're given your starting location and your destination you have to reach, with a map of the area and its roads. At points during the game you'll get a turning onto another road - so consult your map to see if you need to take it or not. Here's the first annoying thing about the game - you'll only get to turn right or left to go on the desired direction of the road and if you don't consult your map and no which direction you're actually going in, you could end up turning onto the wrong way on the road! Don't even try to 'turn around' and go the opposite way once on there - it's impossible... which leads onto the 2nd annoyance - the roads are so flippin' long between junctions. It wouldn't be a problem if the actual game was fun. You drive down empty roads with the same roadside trees and lamps, the same green sides and grey road, the same skyline for what feels like hours and hours without change, until you might (probably by the 3rd level) end up in another American state where the colours change a bit. All there is to do is avoid the cop cars who are pretty stupid, avoid the road blocks in the middle of the road, and keep an eye on your map until you reach the destination. You get given a generous amount of time to complete each level and it appears you can crash an infinite number of times. So crashing into a tree at 300kph doesn't result in instant death and a complete write off! The cars back on the track and off you go again. Crashing into a police car at high speed just results in another crash and off again. However, don't let a police car catch you going at a slow speed otherwise you're arrested - but smash into one at high speed and everyones off driving again... odd!

So basically the gameplay is just avoid the obstacles on your route and don't crash too many times before time runs out - which must take forever. Therefore the important part of the programming will be the collision detection - which ranges from near enough spot on to diabolical. There are times when my car sailed like a ghost through both a cop car and road block, but it was rare. Probably the most stupid annoyance in the game is crashing on a turning - there are posts either side of the road Chase HQ style - but smash into them and your car is set back on the road you were on previously PAST the turning!! ARGHH!! It would help my patience and enjoyment if there was some reward to work towards so when you complete a destination.... nothing happens. No upgrade, new car, turbo boost, etc... nothing. Oh and don't even bother with selecting to have music in game - my irritation levels would be through the roof! Sound FX is decent enough...

Which leads me onto some good points about the game as I've been very bitter and scathing so far! The sound effects are really quite good - decent engine noises but how the cop cars sirens fade in and out depending on their distance (doppler effect) is really cleverly done. Well done! The graphics - not good enough for a console release and lazy backgrounds... however they're still fairly decent and well drawn. Most impressive is the undulating road moving up and down smoothly over hills and tight bends, quite a difficult programming trick to do but they've pulled it off well.

The game overall is just to dull and not enough there to excite, it's the racing game equivalent of driving down empty motorways to somewhere like Norwich whilst reading a map. Destination : Yawnsville.

Graphics
  Mediocre at best. May have been acceptable on full price cassette release in 1988, but not on a full price cart in the 90's.
Music
Usually average to annoying Titus music. Don't bother with it in game as it drove me batty! Plus they lost the digitized music of the original release on the title screen!
Sounds
Actually pretty decent, especially the doppler effect of the police sirens! Credit where it's due...
Presentation
Fairly lazy presentation to be expected from Titus.
Programming
Well programming all the bumps and dips, tight bends and incorporating the map and turns offs is quite neat! However some stupid gameplay bugs, occasionally abysmal collision detection and other annoyances mean this doesn't score very highly.
Playability
Controls are responsive I suppose, although the road is very tight to avoid the cops and the road blocks take up nearly all the road leaving a narrow gap to squeeze by. The rest of the game is just following a map to your desitination - hardly inspiring?
Lastability
You'll get bored very quickly with this game, there's not much incentive to come back. If you do make a lot of progress and die for some reason (I must have played it for over 40 minutes before starting level 3...) the thought of going back and starting all over from the beginning of this tedious plod will put anyone off.
Concept
The back story's nice! But where is this 'smashing of a corrupt police officers stolen car racket'?? Drive from one point to another with no change of scenery - you apparently arrive in a city but there's nothing to indicate that! What would have been really cool is the ability to take short cuts like take a risk going across the desert - but nah you explode after so long and the map never shows you exactly where you are. Grand Theft Auto it is not.
AI & Challenge
Hmmm well there's a decent challenge simply because how long it takes, although cops do chase you across the road and setup roadblocks.
GX4000 Features
Some extra colours being used on the title screen and the fading sky line, but that's it.
Summary About as much fun as motorway driving, but then at least you're driving for real and can go anywhere and do anthing you want. This is a knackered 2nd hand car of a game well due to be sent to the scrap yard.
Final Score 51%
Cheats...
YouTube video...



Further more...
  Amstrad Action final score : 82%
  GX4000.CO.UK game ranking : #
  Game value (boxed + instructions) : £10 - £25

Credits...
Manuals and some sleeve scans by mochilote at cpcmania.com

ROMS taken from NVG FTP Site maintained by Nich Campbell, see his other site - CPC Game Reviews

Cheats (various) taken from CPC Zone contributed by Hermol, cpc4eva, Malc and others

Inspiration generally taken from John King's PCW King GX4000 site



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